The Eternal Conflict Within, Playoff-Style

If you’re like me, you find yourself lost and adrift.  Half enraged, half sad, and against all reason, half hopeful.

It turns out, I don’t know how to write about the Sabres when they’re in the playoffs.  If they’d played these last two games in the regular season, I’d write something ranging from, “GODDAMN IT, SABRES!  PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER YOU MINCING LITTLE TURDS,” to, “The Sabres are making me sad and weary.”

But things are different in the playoffs.  Even though the Sabres are FRUSTRATING ME TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION, deep down inside, I want to keep rooting for these little bastards.  I don’t want to get too cranky, because they’re only down 2-1….and I love them. If they win tomorrow the series is tied up and they have home ice advantage again.  Seriously now, this situation is not the end of the world.  But I’ll admit, the Sabres do make me feel all the-end-is-nigh-y when I watch them play hockey.  They looked terrrrible last night.

Basically, I’m feeling topsy-turvy and confused.

My feelings are so conflicted.  I don’t want to attack the Sabres too viciously, because I want to be able to love them without reservation the NANOSECOND they stop sucking.  I need to leave myself an out so that when they pull themselves together, I can rightfully say, “I loved them all along!”  But even though I want to leave the door open for further Sabres lovin’, I ALSO WANT TO PERSONALLY STRANGLE THEM WITH MY BARE HANDS.  I’m a mess.

I’m reminded of that plot device used in old cartoons, where the protagonist has a little angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other.  The angel is telling me to keep the faith, and the devil is telling me to turn on WGR and surrender to the soul-scorching frustration.

Homer and I have a lot in common, actually.

My angel and my devil have been at it all morning, and rather than attempt to write a nuanced interpretation of the game or my thoughts about the series so far, I think the best course of action is to simply transcribe these conversations.   I’m way too confused for analysis.

7:30am

Devil: WAKE UP
Angel: (gently) No, stay asleep!  It’s your day off.
Devil: WAKE UP AND CLEAN THE HOUSE.  HEY, REMEMBER THAT SABRES GAME FROM LAST NIGHT?  THAT SUCKED, DIDN’T IT.  I BET THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT IT ON THE RADIO.  YOU SHOULD TURN ON THE RADIO.
Angel: Hush, Katebits.  Don’t wake up.  Stay in your cozy bed.
Katebits: (opens eyes) Damn it.

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 1-0, Devil

__________

8:00am

Devil: WHAT is with the Sabres?  Talk about a bunch of pusses.  They let the Bruins completely manhandle them. Everyone should be fired!
Angel: It was only one game.  The series is 2-1.  There is still plenty of time for adjustments.
Devil: Adjustment?!  Like a heart transplant?  An injection of guts?
Angel: We’ve seen them play physically before.  It can be done.
Devil: But the Sabres are weenies.  All of them.
Angel: Not Steve Montador.
Katebits: Yeah!  Not Steve Montador!
Devil: Okay, not Steve Montador, but ALL of the rest of them.
Katebits: (sadly) Yeah.

Advantage, draw.  Score: 1-0 Devil

__________

9:15am

Angel: Chara is unbelieveably gross.
Katebits: I HATE THAT GUY SO MUCH.

Advantage, Angel.  Score: 1-1 tie

__________

9:20am

Devil: The powerplay is an embarrassment.
Angel: …..
Devil: Whoever is in charge of the power play should be fired….
Angel: …..
Devil: …and executed
Angel: ….

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 2-1, Devil

__________

9:30am

Angel: The Sabres really haven’t had to deal with injuries this season and now they’re suddenly without Hecht and Vanek.  This is a big deal.  It’s true that they are having trouble adjusting, but it’s also true that there is still time to make adjustments.  Everyone says Lindy is a great playoff coach.  He’ll right the ship.
Devil: THAT IS BULLHONKY. Every team deals with injuries.  If the Sabres can’t handle it, they stink.
Angel: But there is STILL TIME for them to handle it, and it’s a mental adjustment more than anything else.  They played hard in game one, they can do it again.
Devil: I don’t think they can!
Katebits: They can.

Advantage, Angel.  Score 2-2 tie

__________

9:20am

Devil: Tim Connolly and Derek Roy are COMPLETE sacks of poo.
Angel: Yes but…they’re under contract for the next million years.  Wait…no!  That’s not what I meant to say!
Devil: Ha!  I got you!
Angel: No you didn’t.
Devil: Yes, I did.  Connolly, Roy-Z, sacks of poo.
Angel: Well, sacks of poo aren’t all bad.  You can sprinkle a sack of poo on your garden and it will help your flowers grow.
Katebits: While sacks of poo ARE useful in the garden, they are also affordable and readily available at Home Depot.  I do NOT need to see sacks of poo skating around the ice in Sabres uniforms.

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 3-2, Devil

__________

9:45am

Angel: The Sabres sucked donkey balls last night, but the Bruins only barrrrely beat them.
Devil: Oh, that’s because the Bruins aren’t that good at hockey.
Angel: Exactly! If the Sabres just adjust their game dial to “half suck” instead of “full suck,” they should be able to take this series.
Devil: You say that like “half suck” is an actual option.
Katebits: I’ll accept it.  “Half suck” is admissible.

Advantage, Angel.  Score: 3-3, tie

__________

10:00am

Devil: The game was in standard definition.  The Sabres don’t even love you enough to provide their PLAYOFF games in HD.

Advantage, Devil.  Score, 4-3, Devil

__________

10:35am

Devil: The Sabres are never scoring again, and Vanek will NEVER drill a blowhole, so he’s probably done for the season.
Angel: The Sabres CAN score!
Devil: Oh yeah?  Which ones?
Angel: Um…Mike Grier?

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 5-3, Devil

__________

11:15am

Devil: Miller really should have had that first Bruins goal last night.
Angel: (punches Devil in the face)

Advantage, Angel Score: 5-4, Devil

__________

So, that’s where things sit. The Devil has a slight edge, but it’s sunny outside, and as soon as I get done writing this post I’m going to go sprinkle some Derek Roy and Tim Connolly organic fertilizer on my garden, so the day is looking up.

Keep fighting the good fight, angels.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

17 Responses to “The Eternal Conflict Within, Playoff-Style”


  1. 1 SueInVA April 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks! I needed a laugh! :D

  2. 2 Alfie April 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    That was the most hollow Lets Go Buff-a-lo I’ve ever read on TWC. Fortunately, it was a hilarious, great post and your Sabres aren’t done yet. Unlike the Senators, who don’t stand chance in hell, but at least I can feel your playoff pain.

  3. 3 Katebits April 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Glad to help, Sue!

    That was the most hollow Lets Go Buff-a-lo I’ve ever read on TWC.

    Heh. I know. And the sad thing is, it took me an hour and a half writing this post to muster up the strength for even that. If it’s any consolation, I’m actually rooting for the Sens. I’ve got this strange idea that any Sabres path to the Cup (I know, AHAAHAHAHA!) would have to go through the Sens. So, I need you guys to advance. And yes, I feel your pain. It’s a sorry state of affairs when Sens and Sabres fans turn to each other for comfort. :D But thanks for the props on the post!

  4. 4 Amy April 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Great post!

    You realize now that RoboScout is going to be trolling the aisles at Home Depot looking to replenish the current sacks of poo once they’re done being useful.

  5. 5 Trey April 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Ha, that was something I needed, thank you! If you don’t mind, I’m going to be the Devil for a second, because I’m feeling let down. Following the Sabres is our second job. We spend several hours a week watching them, reading about them, loving them and being frustrated by them. We pour everything we can into them: emotion, cash and time. So, when they are outworked like they were last night in Boston, I can’t help but feel let down. If we can give them everything we have, why can’t they do that on the ice for us? That’s what makes me mad. I don’t mind losing to a better team, but Boston is not a better team. I watched all but one game this year (on TV…don’t live near Buf anymore)…how many did they miss?

  6. 6 Pookie April 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I’m sorry it’s come to the devil vs. angel thing, but if it’s any help, this post is brilliant.

  7. 7 Matt April 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    This continued in my head…

    Devil: The game was in standard definition. The Sabres don’t even love you enough to provide their PLAYOFF games in HD.

    Advantage, Devil. Score, 4-3, Devil

    Angel: Wait! They showed it in HD on Versus!

    Devil: Yeah, but it’s Versus. And they had Sam Rosen doing the play-by-play.

    Angel: **falls off his perch**

    Advantage, Devil. Score 5,000,000-3

  8. 8 Katebits April 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Trey, I know. It’s massively disappointing. But if they win tomorrow, everything will be good again!

    Pookie, thanks! It might amuse you to know that I wrote this whole post writing “Devils” out of habit and then I had to go back and fix it EVERY TIME.

    Matt, :^:::::::::::::: Versus was blacked out in Buffalo, so low def on MSG was our only option.

  9. 9 Pookie April 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I wrote this whole post writing “Devils” out of habit and then I had to go back and fix it EVERY TIME.

    Heh heh heh. Mission accomplished.

  10. 10 Schnookie April 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    It might amuse you to know that I wrote this whole post writing “Devils” out of habit and then I had to go back and fix it EVERY TIME.

    HA! I do that too. Not surprisingly. Heh. But I agree with Pookie — the situation might be less than ideal, but this post is pure genius.

  11. 12 mcguffers April 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    This post is awesome! The Sabres have left me a trainwreck this year. I want to really like them and be optimistic, but there were so many times this season when I got tired of watching them hang back and let Miller win the game. And after two years of watching a depressed Goose tell me that they’re completely devastated about missing the playoffs, I would think they’d be a bit feistier right now.

  12. 13 Julie April 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Brilliant FB share. Brilliant.

  13. 14 kel April 21, 2010 at 12:17 am

    thank you for cheering me up, both about the sabres and life in general

  14. 15 Pirates_fan April 21, 2010 at 4:13 am

    after watching the Portland Pirates swept (swept!) out of the playoffs last night, this post hit the spot, and almost got the “spit take” at the end. Thanks for that. I’ll be yelling “LETS GO BUFFALO” for everyone who can’t make it to the game in Boston tonight.

  15. 16 Kathleen April 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Do you think it would provide sufficient motivation if you told Royzie and Timmyho that if they don’t show up tonight they’ll be ground up and sprinkled in your garden? (I am also rooting for the Senators. Well, I’m rooting against the Penguins. Either way, it feels so wrong. But if the ECF is Pens-Caps I’M NOT WATCHING. Well, I probably will, but I won’t enjoy it. Hmmph.)

  16. 17 joe April 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    i just cant bring myself to root for the sens. too many memories of rutuu and neil and all the other goons infesting the sens lineup coupled with all the times the sabres failed to beat the senators and all i can do is hope they never win anything again


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